Order of Business

It is proposed to take No. 10, Revised Estimates for Public Services 2010, Votes 1 — 41, (back from committee); No. 11, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Post-Release (Restrictions on Certain Activities) Orders Scheme 2010 (back from committee); No. 12, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act 2009 (back from committee); No. 13, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on combating the sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, repealing Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA (back from committee); No. 18, Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2010 — Second Stage (Resumed) and Remaining Stages; and No. 19, Adoption Bill 2009 [Seanad] — Report Stage (Resumed).

It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that the Dáil shall sit later than 8.30 p.m. tonight and business shall be interrupted not later than 10 p.m.; Nos. 10, 11, 12 and 13 shall be decided without debate and in the case of No. 10 [Votes 1 — 41] shall be moved together and shall be decided by one question which shall be put from the Chair and any division demanded thereon shall be taken forthwith; the following arrangements shall apply in relation to No. 18: the proceedings on the resumed Second Stage shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion after 30 minutes and the proceedings on the Committee and Remaining Stages shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 7 p.m. tonight by one question which shall be put from the Chair and which shall, in relation to amendments, include only those set down or accepted by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government; Private Members' business, which shall be No. 78, motion re patient safety authority, shall be taken at 7 p.m. tonight or on the conclusion of No. 18, whichever is the later, and shall be adjourned after 90 minutes; the proceedings on the resumed Report and Final Stages of No. 19 shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 10 p.m. tonight by one question which shall be put from the Chair and which shall, in relation to amendments, include only those set down or accepted by the Minister for Health and Children.

There are five proposals to be put to the House. Is the proposal that the Dáil should sit later than 8.30 p.m. agreed to?

No, it is not agreed. A Cheann Comhairle, what mechanism can you advise that this House can use to hold the Minister for Health and Children, her Department and the HSE to account——

——for devastating decisions——

——that will grievously impact——

I am asking a question before I agree to the ordering of the business of the day. That is a valid position for me to adopt. I am asking you, a Cheann Comhairle, for your steer. This matter on the Adjournment nonsense simply will not suffice when we look at the seriousness of what is involved in the closure of accident and emergency services at the Louth County Hospital in Dundalk and their transfer to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. I will conclude with this point and await your answer, a Cheann Comhairle. It will have escaped the notice of many in this House that the so-called transformation plan in 2008 that presented an enhanced ambulance service for the people of Monaghan when they lost the acute services of our hospital there, we had a rapid response vehicle——

——provided with an advanced paramedic.

This is inappropriate for the Order of Business.

We had a patient transport ambulance provided——

I ask the Deputy to resume his seat.

——with two emergency technicians.

If the Deputy will resume his seat for a moment I will reply to his question.

I will conclude with this point. Let the House know that with the transfer of those services from the Louth County Hospital, it has now transferred those support ambulance services — vehicles and personnel — from——

——the most grievously affected centre——

Deputy, I must advise you——

——County Monaghan, now to be shared with your community, a Cheann Comhairle.

It is not an enhancement. There is no additionality.

Deputy, please.

The Monaghan solution will now be scrapped.

We are on the Order of Business and the Deputy's behaviour is completely out of order.

I wish to advise the Deputy that the matter, which was raised a short while ago,——

I am raising a matter here and I am asking for guidance from you, a Cheann Comhairle.

——has been selected to be taken on the Adjournment later tonight.

Sure, that is not worth a damn.

We are moving on.

Matters on the Adjournment——

Is the proposal for dealing with——

No, it certainly is not, because you are never giving an answer.

——Nos. 11 to 13, inclusive, without debate agreed to? Agreed?

Is the proposal for dealing with No. 18, the Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2010 agreed to?

I have already made the point that I object to the guillotine procedure being used here. I understand six amendments have been tabled. This is a very short time with only 30 minutes for the rest of Second Stage and all Remaining Stages to be concluded by 7 p.m. On that basis I object to the proposal to guillotine the Wildlife (Amendment) Bill.

I have counted 11 guillotines for this week. The Labour Party has consistently objected to——

It objects to everything.

——the use of the guillotine by the Government to rush legislation through the House. Thirty minutes is not sufficient time for the completion of Second Stage of the Bill and given the commitments that the Minister has given on introducing amendments to the Bill, the remaining period of time is not sufficient for Committee and Remaining Stages.

I also object to the guillotine applying in this particular case.

Deputy Morgan cannot vote on that now.

Hark, do I hear something from the Green benches? My goodness, it is a long time since there was anybody there, never mind a voice to be heard. I wish to object to the guillotine applying in this case. Members of the House have every right to participate in all Stages of this legislation as it presents.

Except Independents.

As the other speakers have indicated, the imposition of the guillotine is absolutely unnecessary, unwarranted and anti-democratic in terms of proper address of legislation presenting.

In conclusion, a Cheann Comhairle, I very much record my disappointment at your earlier refusal to give me a due response to the points I made on my objection to the first proposition on the Order Paper. You have not yet and never have previously given any substantive reply to give guidance and support to Members of this House as to how they can hold that Minister and this Government to account on the disgraceful decisions that have been taken on our health services. Shame on them.

The Chair does not have a Members' rights role.

Question put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 72; Níl, 69.

  • Ahern, Bertie.
  • Ahern, Dermot.
  • Ahern, Michael.
  • Ahern, Noel.
  • Andrews, Barry.
  • Andrews, Chris.
  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Blaney, Niall.
  • Brady, Áine.
  • Brady, Cyprian.
  • Brady, Johnny.
  • Browne, John.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Carey, Pat.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Conlon, Margaret.
  • Coughlan, Mary.
  • Cowen, Brian.
  • Cregan, John.
  • Cuffe, Ciarán.
  • Curran, John.
  • Dempsey, Noel.
  • Devins, Jimmy.
  • Dooley, Timmy.
  • Fahey, Frank.
  • Finneran, Michael.
  • Fitzpatrick, Michael.
  • Fleming, Seán.
  • Flynn, Beverley.
  • Gogarty, Paul.
  • Gormley, John.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Harney, Mary.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Healy-Rae, Jackie.
  • Hoctor, Máire.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Kelly, Peter.
  • Kenneally, Brendan.
  • Kennedy, Michael.
  • Killeen, Tony.
  • Kitt, Michael P.
  • Kitt, Tom.
  • Lenihan, Conor.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • Mansergh, Martin.
  • Moloney, John.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Mulcahy, Michael.
  • Nolan, M.J.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Ó Fearghaíl, Seán.
  • O’Brien, Darragh.
  • O’Connor, Charlie.
  • O’Dea, Willie.
  • O’Flynn, Noel.
  • O’Keeffe, Batt.
  • O’Keeffe, Edward.
  • O’Rourke, Mary.
  • O’Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Power, Peter.
  • Power, Seán.
  • Roche, Dick.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Sargent, Trevor.
  • Scanlon, Eamon.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • White, Mary Alexandra.
  • Woods, Michael.

Níl

  • Bannon, James.
  • Barrett, Seán.
  • Behan, Joe.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Ulick.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Connaughton, Paul.
  • Coonan, Noel J..
  • Costello, Joe.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Crawford, Seymour.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • D’Arcy, Michael.
  • Deenihan, Jimmy.
  • Doyle, Andrew.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Enright, Olwyn.
  • Feighan, Frank.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Flanagan, Terence.
  • Gilmore, Eamon.
  • Hayes, Brian.
  • Hayes, Tom.
  • Hogan, Phil.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kenny, Enda.
  • Lynch, Ciarán.
  • Lynch, Kathleen.
  • McCormack, Pádraic.
  • McEntee, Shane.
  • McGinley, Dinny.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McManus, Liz.
  • Mitchell, Olivia.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Neville, Dan.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • O’Donnell, Kieran.
  • O’Dowd, Fergus.
  • O’Keeffe, Jim.
  • O’Mahony, John.
  • O’Shea, Brian.
  • O’Sullivan, Jan.
  • Penrose, Willie.
  • Perry, John.
  • Quinn, Ruairí.
  • Rabbitte, Pat.
  • Reilly, James.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Shatter, Alan.
  • Sheahan, Tom.
  • Sheehan, P.J.
  • Sherlock, Seán.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Stagg, Emmet.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Timmins, Billy.
  • Tuffy, Joanna.
  • Upton, Mary.
  • Wall, Jack.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies John Curran and John Cregan; Níl, Deputies Paul Kehoe and Emmet Stagg.
Question declared carried.

Is the proposal for dealing with Private Members' business agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 19, the Adoption Bill 2009, agreed to?

It is not agreed.

It is agreed. I call Deputy Kenny on the Order of Business.

The Government produced a substantial list of legislation to be introduced before the House rises for the summer recess. Perhaps the Taoiseach will tell us the proposed schedule of legislation to be taken next week.

I understand that matter will be dealt with by the Whips.

On a point of order, we have not yet dealt with the proposal in respect of No. 5.

We have dealt with it.

I indicated to the House that the Labour Party was not agreeing to that proposal.

I heard Deputy Stagg say that.

He did say it.

I am clearly indicating now that the Labour Party is not agreeable to the proposal in respect of No. 5 and as such it has not yet been agreed to by the House. We are not agreeing to it because this House is supposed to hold the Executive to account by debating legislation. The number of guillotines applied this week make it impossible for us to do our constitutional duty and to hold the Executive to account. What is happening in this House daily at the end of each term is that legislation is being passed by the Executive and not this House. Legislation is simply being rubber-stamped by the majority, which is not the way to pass legislation. We object to these guillotines.

Is the proposal for dealing with No. 19 agreed?

Question, "That the proposal for dealing with No. 19 be agreed to", put and declared carried.

I call Deputy Kenny on the Order of Business.

In view of the list of legislation with which it was proposed the House would deal prior to its rising for the summer recess, perhaps the Taoiseach will indicate what legislation will be dealt with in the House next week.

The Whip has indicated to his colleagues the workload for this and next week. It is unfortunately the case that there are Bills which must be dealt with before the end of term and we want to proceed with them. The House will conclude the Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2010 today. Second Stage of the Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2009 [Seanad] will be taken later this week. The House will take Report Stage of the Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill 2009 [Seanad] on Thursday and the European Financial Stability Facility Bill 2010 has passed all Stages in the Dáil and is now listed for the Seanad. The Central Bank Reform Bill 2010 will be taken this Thursday. The Road Traffic Bill 2009 and Health (Amendment) Bill 2010 have passed all Stages in the Dáil and are now listed on the Seanad Order Paper. It is intended that the House will also deal with the Prescription Charges Bill 2010 and Údarás na Gaeltachta Bill 2010 [Seanad]. Report Stage of the Social Welfare Bill 2010 will be taken all next week in this House and will then go to the Seanad. Report Stage of the Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2010 will be taken in the House this week and will then go to the Seanad.

I thank the Taoiseach for that information. Perhaps the Taoiseach will indicate if there has been any progress in regard to his commitment to introduce legislation in respect of on-line betting, which is an important issue in terms of the racing industry in this country. I am aware the Bill is not yet ready but perhaps the Taoiseach will indicate when its heads might be prepared.

Work on that Bill is proceeding. This issue was raised last week by Deputy Deenihan at which time I brought him up to date on the matter.

The European Commission today approved the extension of the credit institutions eligible liabilities guarantee scheme to the end of the year. Perhaps the Taoiseach will indicate if the Government intends bringing this matter before the House at any point, by what means this will be done and if it will happen before the summer recess.

It is now several months since the Joint Committee on the Constitutional Amendment on Children agreed a wording for a referendum on the rights of children. This is a matter on which there is now all-party agreement. We are into the second last week of this Dáil term and it is high time the Government told us when the referendum on children's rights will be held and when the referendum Bill to enable that referendum to be held will be brought before this House. Perhaps the Taoiseach will indicate when this will happen.

As stated previously in this House and again recently, work on that matter is continuing. The matter is receiving the priority of the Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children with responsibility for children who is liaising with the Attorney General's Office. A Cabinet committee is also working on the matter. As soon as all of the relevant issues have been cleared and each Department has had an opportunity to study what has been a comprehensive report the Government will bring legislation before the House.

That is a load of nonsense. There is not a comprehensive report. The matter is a simple one. There is agreement on the wording. We are continually told work on the matter is continuing. The only work continuing is on the part of Government to delay holding this referendum for as long as possible. It beggars belief to see what order of priorities this Government has that a referendum on an issue as important as the rights of children, on which there is all-party agreement, is being delayed in this way by Government.

I reject the Deputy's assertion. Work on this matter is ongoing. The Government is seized of the issue and is proceeding to deal with it. The Deputy will be aware that the bringing forth of a referendum is an important and serious matter which must be given due consideration by any Government, including this one.

Again in the health domain, a series of legislation has been promised by the Department of Health and Children. Is the Taoiseach in a position to confirm that the health information Bill 2010 will be published in the current year? It is indicated under Section B as due for publication in late 2010. Has the Taoiseach at any time following the request of Opposition Deputies made any inquiry as to the reason health Bills tend always to arrive in the last weeks of any session and are invariably given little time for serious scrutiny? Is there any prospect of the health information Bill 2010 and others within the health portfolio being presented earlier in the session post summer recess to allow Deputies to properly engage, evaluate and amend as appropriate?

Bills are published having been duly decided upon by Government. There is no set trend in this regard on the part of Government. Bills come before Government and are published. It is then a matter for the Whips as to when they will be taken in the House. The Deputy will be aware there has been a great deal of work before the Oireachtas as a result of the economic situation in recent times. This has greatly increased our workload, a challenge which the House has been able to meet commendably. Some Bills have passed all Stages in the Dáil and others have yet to be decided upon. The legislation mentioned by the Deputy is due for publication at the end of the year, work on which we will try to speed up.

The Cabinet sub-committee on climate change met only twice last year and six times the previous year. It has not yet met in 2010. Perhaps the Taoiseach in his capacity as Chairman of that sub-committee will indicate when the heads of the Bill on climate change law, which has been repeatedly promised, will come before the House. I understand from the Department that it was expected that the heads of this Bill would be published in March. I understood it would be published in June but there is still no framework, other than an original document which is thin on the ground in terms of detail, in place.

Is the Government serious about tackling climate change? I am aware it has other matters on its mind. However, at the end of the day we must all work together to meet targets which are onerous on all Departments. Without climate change law, which is part of a commitment made by Government, we will not achieve those targets.

There is no need for the embellishment.

When exactly will we see the heads of the Bill?

The outcome of the Copenhagen conference in December has meant the preparatory process has taken longer than expected. The Cabinet committee meets when there are decisions to be taken. A great deal of work is being done at a technical level and a policy level in preparation for this sort of legislation. It is important that we get it right. That ongoing work is at an advanced stage. I hope the Cabinet committee will meet as soon as decisions are ready to be considered by it.

I welcome the recent adjustments to the scheme of PRSI contribution on behalf of the employer. The matter needs to be considered further, however, as the new arrangement is very proscriptive in so far as only those who have been out of work for over 12 months will qualify for it. Several people have approached me——

This would be ideal material for a parliamentary question.

I ask for the indulgence of the Chair. I am almost there.

I am sure the Minister for Social Protection would be delighted to answer a question on the matter.

It is a matter for the Minister for Finance. This measure applies to people who have been out of work for over 12 months. People who have been out of work for three or six months are quite willing——

The Deputy should table a parliamentary question.

They have gone for interview.

The Deputy should not waste our time on the Order of Business.

As they have not been out of work for over 12 months, they have been told they should not apply. If we are to make a genuine and serious attempt to get people back to work, we should reduce the relevant timeframe to six months.

The Deputy has had a good innings on the matter. He should table a parliamentary question.

I was asking the Taoiseach about this issue.

The Deputy should ask a parliamentary question of the Minister for Social Protection.

The Department of Finance announced today that the bank guarantee will be extended until 31 December 2010, through the use of the eligible liabilities guarantee scheme. I understood that the legislation introduced after the bank guarantee provided that the guarantee would end on 29 September 2010. Can the Taoiseach tell the House whether the extension of the bank guarantee scheme and the eligible liabilities guarantee scheme to the end of December of this year will require legislation or a ministerial order to be brought before this House? If a minimum of €200 billion of debt is to be guaranteed for a further five years——

Is information being sought?

No, I am asking whether legislation is required.

Perhaps the Deputy can ask a parliamentary question of the Minister for Finance.

I am asking the same question that was asked by the leader of the Labour Party earlier this afternoon. On that occasion, the Taoiseach consciously decided not to answer it. We would like to know whether legislation will be required in the Dáil in respect of the covered institutions financial support scheme.

The Order of Business is for inquiring about promised legislation, not for seeking information.

It is a reasonable question about legislation.

Is legislation promised in this general area, Taoiseach?

There was no conscious effort on my part not to respond to Deputy Gilmore. I apologise if I did not respond to him at the time. He did not try to ascribe bad faith to me. Deputy Gilmore will confirm that I always try to get back to him on the issues he raises with me.

I appreciate that.

Can the Taoiseach give an answer?

The Minister for Finance gave an answer — perhaps last week — when he indicated that secondary legislation, rather than primary legislation, will be involved.

When will that secondary legislation come before the House?

I do not have that information to hand. I will try to get it this afternoon.

This involves an extra guarantee of approximately €200 billion.

The Deputy should table a parliamentary question.

It is worthwhile to identify when secondary legislation on the issue of €200 billion will come before the Dáil.

The Deputy is dispensing information now.

I understand we made approximately €1 billion on the last guarantee, so hopefully we will make some money on the next one as well.

If the Taoiseach believes that, it means he has no understanding of economics at all.

We know the Deputy is an accountant — she has told us before.

Our basis points are above those of Germany.

Deputy Burton, please

The notion that we saved €1 billion as a result of the bank guarantee is a total fantasy. It should be told to children at bedtime as a fairytale.

It is more like a nightmare.

If the Taoiseach believes it, he does not understand anything about economics.

If the Deputy reads them the story, they will never go asleep.

The Taoiseach created "Nightmare on Merrion Street" during his term as Minister for Finance and the country has not recovered since.

I raised an issue of promised legislation with the Minister for Finance when he took the Order of Business last Thursday. Since then, the IMF has suggested that national governments should take some initiatives to assist home owners who find themselves in negative equity, in arrears with their mortgages and possibly unemployed. In the meantime, the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government has made a reference to robbing Peter to pay Paul.

It is inappropriate for the Deputy to stimulate debate on this matter on the Order of Business.

I am trying to put my question in context.

There are other times when all of these points can be made.

There is no other time or place. Can I finish my question on promised legislation? Can I ask the Taoiseach if the Government intends to proceed with the legislation that was promised to the House in November 2009, during the debate on NAMA? In that context, will those who are engaged in discussions with the lending institutions remember that the issue relates to compound interest being charged on arrears of instalments?

The Deputy is embellishing his query.

No, I am not. It is clear that the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government did not understand what I was talking about.

Is legislation promised in this area, Taoiseach?

Can I ask the Taoiseach what the Government's intention is now?

We expect the group that is considering the issues of mortgage arrears and personal debt to make interim recommendations soon, with fuller recommendations to be made in the autumn, perhaps. I will not be in a position to say anything further until we get those recommendations.

I thank the Taoiseach. My other question relates to promised legislation as well. Deputies on this side of the House have repeatedly raised what has now been described by a representative of the Garda as a breakdown in law and order. In that context, can I ask the Taoiseach if any effort will be made to enforce the legislation that has already been passed by this House or to introduce the bail (amendment) Bill that has been promised? I ask the Taoiseach to have particular regard to the fact that it has been clearly indicated that people who are on bail are openly involved in serious crime throughout the country.

Deputy, we cannot have——

What is wrong with that?

We are having far too much embellishment.

For God's sake, one could not embellish it enough for this Government.

All that is contemplated on the Order of Business is a direct inquiry about legislation.

I have to embellish it, a Cheann Comhairle, because those on the Government side do not seem to understand it.

Is legislation promised in this area, Taoiseach?

There is no date for the bail (amendment) Bill at this point.

There is no date for law and order either.

I would like to ask about legislation for which the Tánaiste is responsible. When will we see the education (patronage) Bill, which will provide for community national schools?

It is expected that the legislation will be published over the summer.

I have asked about this Bill every week. I was repeatedly told that the Bill would be published before the end of this session. What is the problem with it?

It is not a question of a problem — it is a question of logistics. Regardless of whether it is published next week or the following week, it will be published during the summer and discussed during the next session.

Would it be rude to ask which summer?

It would be.

The Bill to provide for a directly elected mayor for Dublin has been promised on a number of occasions. It seems to be moving backwards at this stage. When can we expect the legislation to be before the House and the election to take place?

The legislation is being prepared and has yet to be considered by the Government.

I had intended to ask about the health information Bill.

The Bill in question was raised earlier.

An absolute commitment was given to us that no services would be removed from the health structure until better services were provided. Once again, however, services have been removed from Louth County Hospital.

The Deputy is using the Order of Business to make points which would be much more appropriately made——

In addition, ambulance services have been moved from Monaghan to Castleblayney, which is completely at variance with what we were promised and the information we were given.

The Deputy is going to have to find another way to raise this matter. If he raises it on the Adjournment, we will consider it sympathetically. He could also ask a parliamentary question on the matter.

When will the eligibility for health and personal social services Bill be brought before this House? That Bill, and the health information Bill, would allow us to discuss the outrageous conduct——

We will make inquiries and see what the position is with this promised legislation.

——and lack of clarity or truth from the HSE.

There is no date for that Bill, as I have mentioned to the Deputy previously.

The Taoiseach will agree that Deputies on this side of the House have been very responsible in not seeking to make political capital out of the extent of gun murders in recent years, compared to the conduct of Fianna Fáil when in Opposition. The two assassinations of last evening showed that this is out of control. Has the Taoiseach any special measure in mind to deal with the situation?

My second matter is one I have raised with the Taoiseach previously. It is the number of abandoned horses, particularly in County Dublin but also in other counties, and the manner in which they are being abused or left starving and, in some cases, dead. People concerned with animal welfare tell me the local authorities cannot deal with the problem because they cannot get the necessary assistance from the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. What can the Taoiseach do on this matter?

That matter is not appropriate on the Order of Business, and no one knows that better than yourself, Deputy Rabbitte.

It is a massive problem. They are left rotting in the field.

With regard to the first matter, we all deplore these killings. They show a callous disregard for human life. The fact that a young person was injured in last night's shooting is also appalling. The Garda is carrying out intensive investigations of these and all such killings and they will devote all necessary resources to the investigations. Gardaí face severe challenges in dealing with gangland murders. Often, they receive no co-operation. In some cases, persons whom the Garda identified as being at risk, rather than co-operate, seek to thwart the Garda so they can get on with their activities. Despite that, a number of people are before the courts in connection with the recent gangland killings and some important legislation has been passed, particularly the surveillance legislation. The Defence Forces and the Garda can use surveillance mechanisms, in some case, to overcome the problem of persuading witnesses to come forward. Many legislative changes have been brought forward. On every occasion the Garda sought extra support it has been provided by the Government and debated in this House. We must continue to be vigilant with regard to this matter. The legislation enacted has helped the Garda in its efforts to protect law abiding citizens from these horrible happenings. Everyone shares the Deputy's concern and appreciates the need for us to continue to work with the Garda. It has had some successes in this area.

The other issue the Deputy raised is the responsibility of local authorities. There are also non-governmental organisations, such as the DSPCA, which provide help.

They cannot cope with the numbers.

Where humane killing is needed that should also be provided for. It is not a matter on which I have detailed information but I can check the facts and communicate with the Deputy.

Local authorities do not have the money.

Prevention might be a better course of action.

While the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government was bounding around the country after stags, one of his Department's agents placed an advertisement in today's Irish Independent that is 25 months out of date. Even the telephone number is out of date. The environment (miscellaneous provisions) Bill is promised. Who will pick up the bill for an advertisement that is 25 months out of date? The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government should keep an eye on this matter, instead of running around with his hare-brained ideas. When will be see the promised legislation?

That legislation will be published later this year.

It appears from reports that, once again, an Irish passport has been falsified and used in an illegal act. Will the Taoiseach inform the House of the circumstances of this latest incident, in view of the fact that the Minister for Foreign Affairs is out of the country.

The matter is being investigated. I cannot bring further details to the House at this point.

Can the Taoiseach arrange for the reports on the falsification of Irish passports and their use in the assassination in Dubai to be published and put into the public domain?

The Deputy should take that matter up with the Minister in the first instance.

I have tried to take it up with the Minister but I have had no luck, unfortunately.

I will take it up with him also.

The Taoiseach might be more compassionate.

There may be good reasons publication is not possible. I will have to check.

The eligibility for health and personal social services Bill is on the list of promised legislation. Repite care services are being affected by cutbacks in funding. The Taoiseach was in Limerick yesterday and he spoke with people who are affected by the cuts. In counties Clare and Limerick, 63 families are affected. Can the Taoiseach convey some good news to them of a Government commitment to restore their funding?

Deputy Carey, it is not appropriate to raise that matter on the Order of Business.

I know the Taoiseach wishes to answer the question.

I answered the people concerned in Limerick yesterday. It is a pity Deputy Carey was not there to hear it.

He was not invited.

Deputies Kieran O'Donnell, Michael Noonan and Jan O'Sullivan were there.

The Taoiseach did not answer Deputy Rabbitte's question as to when the animal welfare Bill would come before the House. The Taoiseach attended a European Council meeting two weeks ago. When does he intend to debate the issues dealt with there, considering that he signed a ten year agreement relating to strategy and policies for this country? It is reasonable to expect that the normal practice would be followed and that the House would have the opportunity to debate the conclusions of the European Council meeting.

I accommodated a request that we debate the Saville inquiry instead. It took the slot which would normally be given to the European Council meeting. We will have many opportunities to discuss economic employment policy in the European context, including the European 2020 document, which has been passed.

There is no date for the animal welfare Bill, but we look forward to hearing the Deputy's contribution.

Animal welfare is an important issue.

This is the thick end of Deputy Gormley's wedge.